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Feds kill idea to erect Never Forgotten National Memorial, sloppily

By Lewis MacKenzie      

Tony Trigiani, the man who spent over $1-million trying to create a monument for Canadian soldiers killed in war and buried overseas, deserves more than an early morning phone call from a bureaucrat cancelling the project.

A drawing of the Never Forgotten National Memorial, called Mother Canada, which was supposed to be built in Cape Breton to honour Canadian soldiers killed in war and buried overseas. But Environment Canada and Parks Canada pulled the plug on it. Drawing courtesy of the Never Forgotten National Memorial

It was April 2009 and he was on a pilgrimage and close to his birth place in Italy, but because he left for Canada when he was only four years old he really didn’t remember very much at all. Perhaps the cemetery off to the right was there back in 1950 when his parents left to settle in Canada, but he didn’t recognize it now some 60 years later. It was so immaculate in its layout he decided to pay a short visit. Approaching the gate entrance the sign announced it was a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. On entry, he respectfully approached the first headstone which read, “Pte. Ted Truskoski, 17, Canada.” Seventeen! He thought perhaps such a young age for a soldier was highly unusual—until he walked along row after row of Canadians killed in the Battle of Ortona over the Christmas period in 1943 and realized many, too many, including a 16-year-old soldier from Prince Edward Island, were high school aged. It was only a year later that he was told that Ted had actually lied about his age and that he too was only 16 when killed.

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